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Slamming the Brakes on the Runaway Congress

Wednesday, April 14, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Senate Republicans warned last year that if Democrats used reconciliation to jam through Obamacare that the upper chamber would grind to a halt.

Now that threat has to be made real or the GOP will be shown to be impotent and untrustworthy.

The public supports slamming the brakes on the runaway Congress, and the perfect place to demonstrate that is with a showdown over a banking bill designed by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and pushed by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Four more unpopular symbols of all that is wrong with this hard-left Congress could not be hand-picked, and Senator McConnell’s announcement of opposition to the banking bill was thus welcome news. Now the question is whether he can hold his caucus together on this bill and on cap-and-tax. The 41 have to act for the benefit of all and for the country and not for their own headlines or “legacy.”

The GOP Senators need to know the enormous fear that exists across the public of more monkeywrenching of the economy by the Democrats. The parade of headlines about the unanticipated consequences of Obamacare –from the billions in corporate writedowns to the massive impact on doctor-owned hospitals and especially to the fact that Congress couldn’t even write the law clearly when it came to their its health plans– all these stories and more operate to confirm that the Democratic majorities in Congress are the blind leading the blind, and their serial assaults on the private sector enormously destructive of economic growth, especially once the massive cash infusion tapers off.

Senate Republicans, from the most conservative to the most liberal, have to unite around a simple message that this Congress has done enough damage already, to the economy and to the traditions of bipartisanship on major bills. It is time for a pause and to allow the American people a say on the hard-left direction in which the country has turned. That say will come in November. If the Democratic majorities are confirmed, the GOP should not filibuster a banking overhaul or a cap-and-tax scheme, but they shouldn’t work to pas either, or “immigration reform” until the people have a chance to correct the hard-left, hyper-partisan course the president and the Congress have set. The MSM will of course denounce this demand for a vote as “obstructionist,” to which the GOP senators should reply that they are more than willing to help tackle the deficit through the appropriations process between now and November and to engage in a thorough and fair review of the Supreme Court nominee, but that the fragile economy cannot absorb even more massive uncertainty in the form of giant bills that are not even read much less understood by the members of Congress voting on them.

“Nothing New Unitl November” is a principled and crucially necessary position that the Senate GOP needs to take. Stop bleeding the patient please.

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